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Sex and the Second City

a Romantic Comedy
by Kirk Hamley, Maribeth Monroe, Jimmy Carlson, and the Second City casts

COMPANY : Alliance Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Hertz Stage [WEBSITE]
ID# 4175

SHOWING : November 11, 2011 - December 18, 2011



The Second City. One of the greatest sources of comedy in the history of the universe.

Relationships. The internet. Two of the funniest subjects in the history of the universe.

See where we're going here? Yes, The Second City (they're responsible for John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley and more) is taking on love with a digital twist from another Second City alum, Fred Willard ("live" via FaceTime-SkypeTube-gChat uplink).

Sex and The Second City combines brilliant sketches from the minds of The Second City with unpredictable and hilarious audience-fueled improv scenes (you know, like a blind date). It's way funnier than anything you'll find on TV, but if you miss this, you won't find it on Hulu later.

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iLike This Show
by Dedalus
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Once again, the Second City troop has moseyed onto the Hertz Theatre for another round of Atlanta-bashing improv. Once again, I girded my critical loins for a long evening of lame sketches and laugh-less gags.

Once again, my expectations were totally upended by this new piece, a unified collection that actually has a structure, a lot of heart, and nary an Atlanta-bash in sight. Now that I say this, and looking over my responses to SS’s last visits, I find that my reactions were all over the map – so much so I found nothing in three prior reviews to copy and paste into this one. {Insert lazy pre-holiday sigh here.}

This time, Second City takes on dating in the plugged-in turned-on cyber-savvy social-networking world. We follow the (mis) adventures of a love-lorn thirty-something as she wades through the jetsam spewed out by iLove, an on-line dating site. Meanwhile, another couple, together for a year, finds out all they don’t have in common as they race away from a marriage that has an ominous what-could-possibly-go-wrong subtext.

Mixed in with these stories are a boatload of quick scenes and gags about dating customs and dating tragedies, with a few dating successes mixed in to give it all some much-needed heart. And, there are some wonderfully clever improv moments – a character doing a series of “sixty-second dates” with random women in the audience (for one), an audience member coaxed on stage for a blind date with an actress who is given her “topics of conversation” from random shout-outs (for another).

There was a lot to like here – a bachelor party where the “stripper” for the blindfolded groom-to-be is his fiancée, a romance novel brought to steamy life by bored mass transit denizens, Second City alum Fred Willard as a smarmy host in pre-recorded videos that interact with the characters, and so much more. I loved how the groom-to-be continually has the worst-possible comments come out of his mouth, how the frazzled iLove customer continually torpedoes her own dates, and how real affection is found in the most unlikely of places.

And I really liked how these four performers interacted, how they were able to convincingly create numerous characters in addition to their “through-plot-line” characters. Atlanta native Amy Roeder (making her fourth appearance here) is simply marvelous as “Dorinda,” the iLove “lost cause.” Ed Kross is a nicely geeky “Edrick” (among others), a character whose comic book collection is longer than his romantic successes (which hover at the zero point). As the couple racing away from marriage, Angela Dawe and Zach Muhn combine a healthy sexiness with a not-so-healthy selfishness and shallowness to show a couple with nothing in common except attraction and entropy.

Also helping the cause are Video Director Jeff Hadick and director Jimmy Carlson, who give us a true multi-media production that scores in almost every scene. Credited with the script are “The Casts of the Second City,” Kirk Hanley, Maribeth Monroe, and director Carlson.

There were no song parodies this year (thank goodness) and no too-long too-unfunny scenes, and the whole thing goes down as quickly as a sixty-second date and as smoothly as a blind date with a soul mate. I usually have a lot impatience for sketch comedy and improv, but, in this case, a cohesive structure, an energetic and talented cast, and a wide range of iLove targets makes this one the best of the Second City Atlanta shows.

And having Fred Willard on hand (well, on tape) is NEVER a bad idea.

-- Brad Rudy (



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